As the title says..."what's your favourite question to ask a theist"?
You may have many favourites...I would like to hear from you guys about yours.
I have a personal favourite which I often use when they start spouting their spew that GOD wrote the bible at the beginning of time, he created everything....
"OK. If GOD wrote the BIBLE at the beginning of time like you say...some 14.5 BILLION, that's BILLION years ago, What language was it written in?"
Most theists I know don't even know what language JESUS spoke. It's sad really.
Another of my favourites is this one...
"Why did it take GOD 10 BILLION years to make the planet EARTH and then a further 4.5 BILLION years to make MAN?"
There's always a spewy reply of some sort or another which usually gets my goat and the theist is appalled at my outburst of laughter.
So come on you guys....let 'em have it....share your ammo with us.
@David - I'm waiting to see your response to my comment about the four guys who DID say he existed, the four guys whose names no one knows --
Here it is again:
What evidence is strongly against him? Show me this.
Exactly as I stated, Josephus wrote about the burgeoning cult of Christianity in existence in his day - long after Jesus was dead and gone. His words were augmented by Christian scribes - evidence that Christianity has always bred pathological liars. Even so, you are still lacking even a single eye witness account of these great deeds. I mean, if the stories are true, why didn't a single witness ever write a word? Surely at least a few Roman magistrates would have recorded something of all the ruckus, had it actually happened.
But, alas, history is devoid of a single first hand account - and Jesus himself never wrote a word.
Yo, Davy Boy - all of these were born after the mythical Yeshua allegedly died - certainly none of them knew him, and any information they had was hearsay information not permitted in any court of inquiry.
Josephus -- 37 – c. 100
Tacitua -- AD 56 – AD 117
Pliny the younger -- 61 AD – ca. 112 AD
Back in the 1960's, there was an author named Carlos Castaneda who wrote supposed first-person encounters with a guy named Don Juan, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer who could perform magic. He made a lot of money with ten or so books about Don Juan until he was unmasked as a fabricator whose stories were, at best, based not on his first-person experiences but on tall tales he heard around the campfire while smoking peyote with with the tribesmen. Don Juan never existed.
Where are the biblical first-person accounts? I suspect it comes back to your faith. You have an unfounded belief in Jesus' existence based on a bunch of tall tales lacking internal consistence among them.
Your comment about Josephus has many errors. He wrote when there were eye witnesses of what Jesus did. They were there- you were not. Your comment about Josephus having Christian scribes is totally false- where is your evidence of that? There are eye witnesses even James- Jesus brother. Peter was there. and many others. You said there were no outside references and I have given you 6. Now you dispute the outsiders historical documents. Your are building your defense on lies and unsubstantiated assumptions. Is that what atheist do? There is little doubt about Jesus and what he did. There is little doubt that he died on the Cross or do you doubt that to? Where is your evidence to the contrary? Show me first century accounts that dispute these and I will consider them. Otherwise that is the only conclusion I can draw without other disputing evidence. and you have produced none. the 1st century accounts have to stand as valid. The records of Josephus stand as valid and historians agree.
I provided you what you had said did not exist. Maybe you need to rethink this.
All you need do is google "Josephus on Jesus" and you'll find plenty of references to the Christian insertions into his texts. Had Josephus spoke to a single eye witness, he could have named that witness - but all he talked about was how 'they say' this and that. He obviously wasn't moved by what cult devotees had to say as he never converted to Christianity himself. That fact, in and of itself, should have you wondering why he would have ever used such hyperbolated language about Jesus in an otherwise very down to earth historic work.
You say Peter was there, but I sure hope you aren't foolish enough to believe that Peter was the author of the Petrine Epistles. Only the most thoroughly brainwashed cult devotees manage to cling to that belief after an in depth study of the matter. Do you actually think the brother of Jesus left any writings?
You continue to lie about giving me 6 sources - but maybe your cult-muddled brain can't remember to whom you sent the list of those sources.
I cannot show you documents of first hand witnesses who swear that Jesus did NOT do any of the things you claim, because to this day no one has uncovered any writings by anyone who actually met Jesus.
You've been provided with the birth years of the people you claim have documented your messiah outside of the bible - so you know for a fact that none of them met him. None of them give an account of ever having met an eye witness. The most they ever write about is the phenomenon of the growing cult around a guy named Jesus.
You can deny the facts all you like - but that's what theists do. You favour your magical thoughts over cold, hard reality. I feel bad for you.
Had Josephus spoke to a single eye witness, he could have named that witness - but all he talked about was how 'they say' this and that.
At least Bigfoot's purported existence is based on "sightings" by real people instead of rumors.
BIGFOOT IS REAL~!!! You show me one conclusive, irrefutable piece of evidence that he isn't!
Dave - your Yeshua was alleged to have been born about 4 AD, and was purported to have expired at 33, making his supposed death as being 29 AD - Josephus was born in 37 AD, 8 years later - how old do you suppose he was when he began writing history, 20? 30? That would mean the "eyewitnesses" you say he interviewed, and from whom he would have gotten his hearsay information that, as I've mentioned earlier (but you seem to have disregarded), would not hold up in any court of inquiry, but upon which we are supposed to rely as proving the existence of a junior deity, were interviewed 28 to 38 years after the fact, if indeed it was a fact, that he interviewed these eye-witnesses. Now we must realize that the "eyewitness testimony" of anyone who was under 20 when they witnessed the "miracles," would not have a reliable memory of those events. But we also have to consider, that after 28 - to 38 years, that same person would have been 48 to 58 years old. I would normally distrust hearsay testimony under any circumstances, but you're asking us to accept hearsay testimony from a 28- to 38-year old memory, as reason to believe that there was a son of god made magic, died and arose from the dead.
RE: "Now you dispute the outsiders historical documents." - what outside documents, the ones written by guys who were born even later than Josephus?
RE: "There is little doubt that he died on the Cross" - there is no evidence that he did.
RE: "Where is your evidence to the contrary? Show me first century accounts that dispute these and I will consider them."
Wherever you've been taking debating lessons, you need to insist on your money back. Can you really imagine newspaper headlines in the year 29, reading: "EXTRA! YESHUA DIDN'T DIE ON THE CROSS! ALSO, NO ONE HAS INVENTED THE AUTOMOBILE!"
Playing with you is starting to bore me.
But the little-known fact, is that he only wears a size 10! Rumors about his feet have been greatly exaggerated - you know men and size --
God does not send you to hell.
Yes he does. He created hell for the purpose of having people go there. He sends you there. Saying "God doesn't send you to hell, you do that with your choices" is like saying Hitler doesn't send Jews to concentration camps. They did that by choosing to remain Jewish.
What Jesus did was show you the way to God and he intercedes for us.
So Jesus (aka God 2.0) decided to show us how to have him forgive us for a sin he placed on us. And the way he can get himself to forgive us is by having himself tortured and killed so he can show himself how he is benevolent and willing to die for us in order to forgive us....
At what point does he intercede for us? Did he stop the planes from crashing into the Twin Towers and Pentagon? Did he stop Hitler during WW2, or Stalin afterwards? Did he stop the Christian crusaders from slaughtering so many innocents in their conquest of the "holy land"? Did he save the victims of all the natural disasters, which according to religion come from him, since he created everything. The list of atrocities that can be laid at his feet goes on and on.
A quote that sums all this up is one by Epicurus: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
The evidence of his resurrection and his appearances afterward are plain. The Roman, Greek and Hebrew historians of the 1st century validate what is in the Bible regarding Jesus.
Ummm, where is this proof? Outside of your bible. Links please.
I ask you: If you have evidence presented to you, would you change your mind?
I ask you the same thing. If you have evidence of evolution, the age of the Earth, the big bang, and evidence that contradicts your bible and every god that has ever existed, would you change your mind? Because science keeps piling the evidence pretty high.
You have plenty of evidence of his goodness.
Where? In the genocides, homophobia, crusades, witch hunts, misogynism, anti-semetism, religious persecution, threats of eternal torture? Let's not forget plagues, refusing to heal amputees, but helping win the Super Bowl, and the list goes on.
At what point exactly is he good?
I left as well my belief and was an atheist most of my adult life until I found that that life was void and had no hope.
Do explain please. Other than being afraid of death, as you would have to be to say that life is void and with no hope unless you are on your knees in front of a priest and an invisible dictator.
The simple fact that you even got a chance to exist, instead of so many that could have been here in your place, should fill you with infinite joy.
if you believe and he is not real - you lose nothing. If he is real and you believe, you gain everything.
Pascal's Wager... weaksauce. Please let us know which "He" should we believe in? Because there has been about 2500 gods in our history. Which of the 2500 is the real one, and how do you come to that conclusion, and on what grounds do you dismiss the other 2499, aside from ignorance of their existence?
And what do you really gain? Eternity to grovel at the invisible feet of a tyrant? To quote the late Hitch, an eternal North Korea.